According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, roughly 25,000 home fires causing more than 300 deaths occur in the United States each year. Homeowners can keep themselves and their families safe by being aware of the dangers around a home that can contribute to house fires and the preventive measures that can reduce the risk for such fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the following are the most common factors that can lead to fires around the house.
- Cooking accidents: It can take mere seconds for grease splatters or an overheated pan or pot to cause a fire. Stay in the kitchen at all times when cooking.
- Heaters: Have furnaces and other heating appliances regularly inspected. Keep portable heaters away from anything that can burn, including curtains and furniture. Do not leave portable heaters running while you are sleeping or out of the home.
- Smoking: Smoking inside a home can lead to fires. Some people forget to extinguish the smoke material or embers may fall, while butts may smoulder for hours before causing flames to form.
- Washers and dryers: Between 2010 and 2014, American fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year. Mechanical or electrical failure or malfunction was involved in the vast majority of home fires involving washing machines. Failure to clean dryers also can cause fires to ignite.
- Candles: Candles can add ambiance to a room and are commonly used in decorations, but they also can be a fire hazard. Candles easily can be knocked over by children, pets and others. Do not leave candles lit and unattended.
It’s time to get in the habit of checking your smoke detectors, have extinguishers ready, double check that candles and appliances are off, make a plan, and possibly save a life.